Active Listening Workshop
Do you listen... we mean, REALLY listen?
Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness and on the quality of your relationships with others.
We listen to obtain information.
We listen to understand.
We listen for enjoyment.
We listen to learn.
Given all the listening that we do, you would think we'd be good at it! In fact, most of us are not, and research suggests that we only remember between 25 percent and 50 percent of what we hear, as described by Edgar Dale's Cone of Experience. That means that when you talk to your boss, colleagues, customers, or spouse for 10 minutes, they pay attention to less than half of the conversation.
Turn it around and it reveals that when you are receiving directions or being presented with information, you aren't hearing the whole message either. You hope the important parts are captured in your 25-50 percent, but what if they're not?
Clearly, listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving. By becoming a better listener, you can improve your productivity, as well as your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate. What's more, you'll avoid conflict and misunderstandings. All of these are necessary for workplace success.
In your employees personal life, friends may be more likely to confide in you and partners may be more open to constructive criticism. In a professional setting, coworkers may be more inclined to collaborate with you, and clients may choose you over others in your field who don’t take the time to listen. Active listening is considered one of many “soft skills”—valuable nontechnical abilities and characteristics associated with personality, attitude, and the ability to interact effectively, which are just as important as the technical skills necessary to do our jobs.
Does this sound like a skill you need your employees to have?
Develop a greater sense of self
In the process of learning how to communicate well, you will learn more about yourself and what roles you play during interactions.
Open up professional opportunities
People appreciate feeling understood and listened to, and they’re more likely to seek out business relationships with others who help them feel this way.
Set healthy boundaries
Sometimes when you give a hand, it feels like the other person takes an arm. Being a good listener will help you acknowledge the needs of others so they can feel heard and take your boundaries into greater consideration
Become a better leader
With active listening, you’ll make the effort to listen to the needs of your audience so you can get your message across effectively.
Cultivate stronger relationships
Because active listening requires empathy, consistent use of this skill will typically result in closer relationships, as others will view you in a more positive light. This will likely reduce conflicts and increase meaningful interactions with your family and friends.
By offering empathy and truly listening to another person’s point of view, you can address their needs, helping them feel calmer and opening them up to your point of view
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